Farmers urged to partner with forecast agencies for weather information

By Comfort Sena Fetrie-Akagbor

Tamale, Aug. 24, GNA – Farmers have been urged to partner with forecast agencies to receive reliable seasonal weather information to improve their farming practices.

Dr Alhassan Lansah Abdulai, the Lead for the Climate Change Responses Programme and Senior Research Scientists at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research -Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), said farmers needed to interpret seasonal forecast information to enable them to plant at the best time to reduce planting challenges.

He made the call at a three-day training workshop for Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and farmers on system of rice intensification activities under the Ricowas, Scaling up climate resilient rice production in west Africa project, held in Tamale by CSIR- SARI.

The training was to build the capacity of the AEAs and farmers to apply new technologies on rice production and to also train other farmers in their communities.

The four-year Ricowas project is funded by Adaptation Fund and supported by Observatoire Du Sahara Et Du Sahel Sahara and Sahel Observatory, and it is implemented by CSIR-SARI to strengthen human and institutional capacity in climate-resilient rice production (CRRP).

The project is also to assist farmers to scale-up CRRP and strengthen communication and advocacy around it

Mr Abdulai entreated farmers to select crop varieties and adopt crop calendars based on forecast temperature and rainfall patterns.

He said, “Farmers using the forecast information help them to know the best time to sow, best time for deficit irrigation, best time to apply fertilizer and best time to control weeds.”

He urged stakeholders to make climate information an integral part of the larger package of agricultural support and development assistance to enable them to act on the credible information they receive to boost their farming business.

Dr Abdulai said stakeholders should also ensure that women, socially marginalised groups also had access to climate information.

Dr Ramson Adombilla, an Irrigation Engineer at CSIR-SARI, advised farmers to adopt modern technology and gadgets for irrigating their crops for proper growth.

He said modern technological methods of irrigation would help farmers to improve their productivity and cultivation, especially the rice crop.